Updated: Jan 29, 2021
The whole world is going through a 'storm' right? There is no better time to discuss what a storm is. I pray that the Holy Spirit will open our hearts to this teaching in Jesus name. A storm according to the Oxford dictionary is a violent disturbance of the environment it could be wind, rain, thunder and/or snow.
For our teaching today, a 'storm' is any ‘season’ in our life that brings difficulties, troubles, challenges, pain or loss. Anything that stops the normal flow of things in our life could be called a ‘a storm’. I used the word ‘season’ because the Bible says, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
From this definition a storm, is for a season and is therefore is not permanent. Nothing is permanent, there is a season for everything.
Matthew 14:23-32 New King James Version (NKJV)
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray and when the evening was come, he was there alone. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Why do we experience storms?
There are five reasons why we may experience storms (difficulties, troubles and challenges) in our lives.
God wants your attention - The Lord speaks to us in different ways, he speaks to our heart. If you don't pay attention to him, he allows the storms (difficulties, troubles and challenges) into our lives to correct us from destroying ourselves or others. For example, God used a storm to draw Jonah back to him. (Acts 22:6-9).
Storms (difficulties, troubles, challenges, pain or loss) come into our lives to remove pollution from our lives - When we face a storm, we will find out who our true friends are. It is at our most challenging at difficult times that those who truly love and support us will stick around where as other, potentially fake friends would be far from us in no time (1 Samuel 23:7-24:22)
To bring us to repentance - Sometimes if we don't experience storm we would never run back to God. We would never remember God and all that he is and all that he has done. The Israelite while in the wilderness only remembered God when they were faced with storms (Judges 10:10)
To remind us who is in control - sometimes it is easy to get carried away thinking everything good that we have is down to us, our intelligence, wit and strength. For example, it would be easy to think that we got your job because we had a good CV or a good qualification, rather than by God grace. However, storms like – losing a job and finding it hard to get another one, help us to remember God is in control and not us, they remind us to seek and lean on him for our needs (1 Kings 21:29).
To test your foundation – Until we encounter a storm (difficulties, troubles, challenges, pain or loss), we will not know how strong our faith and walk is with God (Matthew 7:24-27)
Self-inflicted Storm - We sometimes cause our own storm due to the things we do or don't do, carelessness, ignorance, deliberate disobedience, attitude etc
How do we deal with Storms?
Anything that stops the normal flow of things in our life could be called a ‘a storm’- difficulties, troubles, challenges, pain or loss. These ‘Storms’ have two purposes to correct us or perfect us. There are five reasons we experience storms seen above but how can we deal with them?
There are four main ways:
Know that there's always a way of every storm The Bible says God will always provide a way of escape in everything you are going through and also will give you the grace to bear it (Corinthians 10 :13).
Call on Him (God) and he would answer you – Peter called on Jesus when he tried to walk on water and then began to sink and Jesus reached out to him. Just as the psalmist said, “in the day of my trouble I will call upon thee for you will answer me” (Psalm -86:7).
Be still during your storms – We have the habit of talking so much to everyone about our problem and circumstances, focusing on the problem, making it so big it seems like there is no solution. Jesus didn’t waste any time but rebuked the storm and told it to be still (Mark 4:39). Pray through the storm and ensure that whilst talking to others you are talking to the right person Jesus.
Rely on the word of God (the word of God is the written bible- scripture) – If you don’t know what is written, you will be written off. This means reading the bible to know and understand Gods plans and promises to and for his people. His word gives us power. Speak the word into your situation. When Jesus was tempted, he quoted the scripture 3 times to defeat the devil (Matthew 4:1-11).
Taking this on board we know we experience storms for 6 main reasons:
1. God wants our attention
2. Storms come into our lives to remove pollution from our lives
3. To bring us to repentance and into relationship with God
4. To remind us that God is in control
5. To test the foundation of our faith and walk is with God.
What actions can we take to deal with them or manage storms in our lives:
1. Know that there's always a way out of every storm.
2. Call on Him (God) and he would answer you. He might not stop you from experiencing the storm, but he will be with you in and throughout the storm.
3. Be still and pray
4. Rely on the word of God (the word of God is the written bible- also called scripture
Despite the fact that Jesus bade Peter to join him in Matthew 14, Peter experienced his own storm. When you go through your storm, always keep your eyes on Jesus, “looking on to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews12:2). He is able to see you through the storm. Let us Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for us.
Just as the eagle uses the storm to its advantage to fly higher, we can use the storm to our advantage. Let us make use of the storm and turn it for our own good, trusting in the Lord and applying all that we have talked about, today.
I pray that the Lord will give you the strength to face and overcome any storm you encounter in your life, in Jesus name. AMEN